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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First women Chief-Minister of West-Bengal

Mamata Banerjee (born 5 January 1955) is the Chief Minister-elect of West Bengal (to assume office on May 20, 2011) and the founding chairperson of the Trinamool Congress.Noted as a firebrand orator and popularly known as "Didi" (meaning 'the elder sister'), she pulled off a landslide victory for the All India Trinamul Congress in West Bengal by defeating the world's longest-serving democratically-elected communist government, i.e. Communist Party of India (Marxist) led Left Front government, eliminating the 34 years of Left's rule in the state.She opposes Special Economic Zones and forceful land acquisition for industrialization in West Bengal at the cost of agriculturalists and farmers.

Mamata Banerjee was born to Promileswar and Gayatri Banerjee on 5 January 1955, in Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal, India. She grew up from a lower middle-class family and then started her political career with the Congress. And, as a young woman in the 1970s, she quickly rose in the ranks to become the general secretary of the state Mahila Congress (1976–80). She was a College-going adult in the mid-1970s when politics in Bengal had begun to accommodate the riffraff. Uninhibited, she jumped up and danced on the bonnet of Jaiprakash Narayan's car. Throughout her political life she maintained an austere lifestyle and never spent money on clothes, cosmetics and jewellery and slung a cotton bag on her shoulder. She has remained single throughout her life.

She graduated with an honours degree in History from the Jogamaya Devi College, an undergraduate women's college in southern Kolkata.Later she earned a master's degree in Islamic History from the University of Calcutta. This was followed by a degree in education from the Shri Shikshayatan College. Later, she earned a law degree from the Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri Law College, Kolkata. All of these Kolkata based institutions (Jogamaya Devi College, Shri Shikshayatan College and Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri Law College) are affiliates of the University of Calcutta.

In the West Bengal Assembly elections of 2011, Trinomool Congress and congress parties combined, spearheaded by Mamata Banerjee successfully won with nearly 75% of the total seats. This is considered a historic victory over the Left Front rule. She will be the 11th Chief Minister and the first woman chief Minister of the state. The high light of the election was that only four ministers out of the twenty eight of the outgoing regime were able to retain their seats. This includes the outgoing Chief Minister Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharya.

She started her political career with Congress(I), and as a young woman in the 1970s, she quickly rose in the ranks of the local Congress group, and remained the General Secretary of Mahila Congress (I), West Bengal, from 1976 to 1980. In the 1984 general election, she became one of India's youngest parliamentarians ever, beating veteran Communist politician Somnath Chatterjee, from the Jadavpur parliamentary Constituency in West Bengal. She also became the General-Secretary of the All India Youth Congress. Losing her seat in 1989 in an anti-Congress wave, she was back in 1991 general elections, having settled into the Calcutta South constituency. She retained the Kolkata South seat in the 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2009 general elections.

In 1997, Mamata Banerjee came out of the Congress Party in West Bengal and established the All India Trinamool Congress. It quickly became the primary opposition to the long-standing Communist government in the state. On 11 December 1998, she controversially held a Samajwadi Party MP, Daroga Prasad Saroj, by the collar and dragged him out of the well of the Lok Sabha to prevent him from protesting against the Women's Reservation bill.In 1999, she joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government and was allocated the Railways Ministry.

Trinamool congress performed well in the 2009 parliamentary election, bagging 19 MP seats, among them 5 women (including her), reiterating her faith in the Women's Reservation Bill. It’s allies Congress and SUCI also got 6 and 1 MP seats respectively. This is the best performance by any opposition party in West Bengal since the start of the left regime. Till date, the Congress victory of 16 seats in 1984, by the sympathy vote after the death of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, was considered the best opposition show.Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress Alliance won the state assembly election against Left Ruling party by securing 227 seats. Trinamool Congress alone won 184 seats.

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